07 November, 2012

If there's one book you must read... Week #31

Book #31 'the controversial one' -- Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

It's been a long time coming, I ask people regularly if there's a book they'd recommend to others & the Fifty Shades trilogy often comes up. Not wanting to be a literature snob (there's something out there for everyone) I decided to ask people who'd actually read the novels to give an honest opinion about them. It's very easy to slag off something without ever having read it so here are the thoughts of three people who've actually read the books...

01. 'I love it! Poor grammar etc, but I liked the love & the story. '

02. 'I was interested in the psychology of the two characters in the first installment, towards the end I found it quite tedious though, as there wasn't much character development.'

03. 'I read all three books in just over a week, then read them again slower as at first I couldn't put them down. They get a lot of bad reviews, however, I think it depends on what sort of person you are, Some people slate stuff just to sound cool. I loved them, They aren't the greatest of books but they do what books are meant to do; escapism from real life. There are lots of cliff hangers, a bit of sex, but it's mainly about two people trying to figure out first love and how it works. I enjoyed it and it got me back into reading! It kind of reminded me of my first love. All the stupid stuff you do etc! Obviously it isn't for everybody, but it wouldn't be the biggest selling book if it wasn't a little bit good.'

Amazon blurb: 'Fifty Shades of Grey -- When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man, and excited when she realises that Christian wants her too. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Christian keeps hidden away from public view.
Fifty Shades Darker -- Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship. But when Christian proposes a new arrangement, she cannot resist. Soon she is learning more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Grey than she ever thought possible.
Fifty Shades Freed -- Anastasia Steele always knew that loving Christian Grey would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them had anticipated. But, finally together, they have love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities. Then just when it seems that they really do have it all, tragedy and fate combine to make Ana's worst nightmares come true...'

In the interest of being objective, I decided to also include a review I saw on Amazon by 'Hector Gussett' because, well, it made me LOL & I think it's good to hear a man's opinion. What 'Hector' says...

'Eyebrows were raised when I said I was reading this because apparently, "it's a girls book". Thirty-six years after the passage of the Equalities Act, I laugh in the face of such wanton sexism!
But sure enough, it took to around page 80 before I was introduced to the sleek lines of Christian's Audi SUV and the handling capabilities of his Bell helicopter. Plus by the time I'd got to page 500, nobody had been blown up by terrorists. More is the pity.
Forget all of that though. What I like in a book is a bit of escapism, but it's not an escape if where you end up isn't real. And this isn't. For a start, nobody is short of a few quid and everybody is beautiful and thin. Hey Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...
But forget all of that too.
Picture a young innocent (who is "a total babe", of course), saving herself for Mr Right. Within days of meeting rich Mr Grey(so gorgeous it just takes your breath away, apparently), she finds herself back at his place (more a sort of skyscraper really). Let's have a tour of his digs. Living room - nice and tasteful, balcony - great views, kitchen - all immaculate marble. And, then, there's the red room. You know, the one with the caribiners on the roof, the restraining cuffs on the wall, the chains on the bed posts and the assortment of whips and riding crops scattered about the floor. Remember, we're not dealing with reality here so the real possibility that you've just delivered yourself into the hands of the Seattle Strangler doesn't come into it. Of course, you decide to stay. And you tell yourself that while you are just a little bit unsure, you are staying because what you really want is to get to know him and his issues better. And anyway, isn't he gorgeous?
So, just like Ana, once she's been taken backwards, forwards, trussed up and with a pair of steel balls, I found I didn't have any strength left. And I'm told there are three in the series?!? Unless I get a guarantee that early on in Book 2, Jose grows a pair, buys himself a M95 sniper rifle and turns the wall behind Christian 50 shades of grey brains, I don't think so. I'll give it 1 [out of 5 stars] because of all the titillating bits, but only because I am assured that nobody was injured in the research.
Meantime, ladies, if you ever find yourself alone with a bloke who doesn't like being touched and who wants to put cable ties around your wrists while applying a gag, don't ask yourself what the beautiful Anastasia would have done in these circumstances, JUST RUN!'

I've seen exerts of the novels & wasn't gripped, not at all to be honest. The basic plot just doesn't appeal to me, I think it seems fairly cliché ridden & predictable, but that's just my opinion, I know some people find a slightly predictable plot appealing as there's no nasty shocks. Whatever your opinion, it cannot be denied that the Fifty Shades trilogy has been phenomenally popular, sparking a wave of copycat style novels. The one huge positive I do think these books have, is that they will (perhaps) encourage people, who wouldn't usually read, to pick up a book. OK, Fifty Shades might not be making it into the Canon anytime soon, and it may not be the best written piece of fiction, but anything that encourages people to read more can only be a good thing in my book.

What do you think, have you read any of the Fifty Shades books? Whether you have or not, what's your opinion on the trilogy? I'd love to hear what you have to say :)


Buy the trilogy from Amazon

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